I can see what the writing and acting team were trying to do and I truly hope that this final presentation wasn’t it, for it’s almost as strange a vision as Richard Driscoll’s abysmal Eldorado 3D (Ok, not that bad) but without as much singing and dancing. So I’m not sure exactly why they came up with the idea but … we have two actors, Halley Feiffer and Ryan Spahn, who more or less play themselves, except in this they’re siblings. Halley falls out with her actor boyfriend Michael Chernus, who plays … eh, Michael Chernus.
I should really have mentioned this, but almost everyone plays themselves but the strange thing is, some of them weren’t all that good at doing it, but how does one pull that off? How is it possible to suck at playing yourself? Michael leaves Halley as her drinking and her behaviour are out of control and she refuses to accept she has a drinking problem. She also films everything on her phone which is pretty bizarre because she films EVERYTHING. She then takes all the film and transcribes it in order to turn it into a screenplay, which she tries to get turned into a movie.
The movie started out quite interesting with things looking good, some good solid acting with loads of well known faces being paraded in front of the camera but then the script kicked in, and it all went south. Very, very far south. Michael Urie took his first unfortunate spin behind the lens but with this script to even attempt to work, it would have needed someone far longer in the tooth, with decades of experience. Even then, I’d be surprised if it worked, but Michael Urie tried his best with what he had, which turned out to be a vacuous effort at best.
The script really was a shambles with zero cohesion and no character development worth speaking of. It was assumed, as they were celebrities, that Halley’s drinking problem along with a quick display of how it happened at the The Squid and the Whale premier would cut it. Wrong. The Squid and the Whale is mentioned so many times I lost count, and I realise it was part of the story but it grated on me as much as it did on the characters who apparently heard it every time they saw Halley.
The acting by Halley varied from brilliant, to not so brilliant, as her manic drinking behaviour reflected the writing and pacing of the story. While this is a very typical Independent affair, in most respects, moreover, it had the star-power that Indie filmmakers only dream about having at their disposal, the whole thing was wasted by no one competent taking the reigns of this small production and tearing the script apart and trying to make the best of it. Instead all the talent was for nought, in this unfunny Comedy that ultimately went nowhere with nothing learned. A wasted opportunity, but, a few marks for at least trying, Halley. C-
Review by Ed Blackadder, Lead Entertainment